Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Orkney Digital Library

We may be the oldest library in Scotland, but Orkney Library and Archive has never been afraid to embrace modern ideas, and use technology to overcome the challenges of delivering a first rate library services to all its members accross the islands.

So it was only a matter of time before we found a way to offer our readers the latest way of accessing books via digital downloads of ebooks and audiobooks. Now you  browse our online digital catalogue from the comfort of your armchair and use your library card to download your choice of ebook or audiobook onto your computer -  from which you can transfer it to a variety of mobile devices, including iPods, iPads and e-readers.

Now that really is a Home Library Service when you can choose your books wearing your pyjamas with a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit in hand!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Holidays and Hedgehogs

Well, with the Shows over, the Community Learning Course Guide out, and the nights fair drawing in, winter can't be far away -  and so our thoughts turn to the books which will ease the passing of the dark winter evenings ahead of us.

If you would like some inspiration for your winter reading, and would like the chance to meet other book lovers to engage in lively debate over a hot beverage, then you'll be delighted to know the Stromness Library Reading Group will restart next Wednesday 22nd August.

Please note the change of date, we usually meet on the last Wednesday of the month but for this first meeting we will meet a week early due to staff holidays (no exotic destinations for us, a trip to Birsay for some sandcastle building and a Mr Whippy and we'll be happy).

Our first title is The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery and there are still a couple of copies available from the library if anyone would like the chance to read it before the meeting. New members are always very welcome, we meet from 7-8pm in the Exhibition Room and, as previously mentioned, a range of hot beverages are available.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Story Lab Treasure Hunt

Just a reminder that you still have a couple of days left to complete this year's Summer Reading Challenge and collect your Story Lab stickers.

All those who successfully complete the challenge will be eligible to take part in a Treasure Hunt, on Saturday 18th August at the Orkney Library in Kirkwall. You can take part anytime between 9.15am and 5pm, so come along and crack the code to collect your award.

If you can't make it along on Saturday but have successfully completed the challenge please let us know and we will arrange to get your award to you.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

It's Showtime!

Well it's that time of the year again folks when we close up the library for the day, and join the throng heading for Dounby and the delights of the Dounby Show!

Tomorrow, Thursday 9th August sees the West Mainland Agricultural Society's annual agricultural show, an event which was first held in 1891, with the usual mix of livestock, agricultural exhibits and attractions to look forward to.

If you would like to learn more about the history of the Dounby Show you can borrow our copy of Showyard on the Heather by George T. Wylie which, in the words of Bill Hewison ,who wrote the book's foreword, is:
...more than just a history of the Dounby Show - it's the story of Orkney farming over the last hundred years and in particular of the West Mainland folk themselves and how they band together in good neighbourliness to get things done.
However you'll have to contain your enthusiasm and wait until Friday to borrow the book,  as tomorrow you'll be disappointed to find the library closed while we partake of all the delights the Dounby show has to offer.

For those of you less interested in livestock and more interested in what happens to wool once it has been removed from the sheep, then there is also the 114th West Mainland Flower, Produce and Industrial Show. With classes for everything, from pot plants to clootie dumplings and a Juvenile Section which includes edible necklaces and decorated buns, the standard will be high and the competition fierce! The show, which is being held in the Dounby Centre, opens this evening from 7pm -9pm and tomorrow from 10am -5pm.

So enjoy the shows - we'll be open again on Friday 10th August as normal and will try to put up some photos, so that those of you who don't make it to Dounby tomorrow don't feel too left out.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Orcrime 2012 - Crime Fiction Competition

This year Orkney will add a new festival to its calendar when the first Orkney crime writing festival - Orcrime 2012 - will run from October 11-13. Organised by Orkney Library and Archive and sponsored by the Orcadian Bookshop the festival will feature appearances from renowned crime novelists Lin Anderson, Ann Cleeves and Denise Mina, as well as crime historian and true crime author Paul Harrison, and Orkney storyteller Tom Muir.

We will bring you more details of the events nearer to the time but something you need to know about now is the chance to enter the first Orkney Crime Fiction Short Story Competition!

The competition will form part of  Orcrime 2012 and is being run by Orkney Library and Archive and the George Mackay Brown Fellowship.

Library assistant Stewart Bain explains the motivation behind the new competition: “Crime fiction has always been popular with our readers, but other than Allan Guthrie and J Storer Clouston, there haven’t been many Orcadian authors known for writing crime fiction. We hope this competition might change that and that one day we might be lending books by the winning author.”

Lucy Gibbon, of the George Mackay Brown Fellowship, is also hoping the competition will tap into the rich vein of creative writing talent in the islands:  “We are very pleased to launch this competition in partnership with the Orkney Library and Archive. We hope that it will encourage people to put pen to paper and come up with fresh angles on the theme of crime.”

The competition is open to anyone over the age of 16 and the judges are looking for a fictional story of no more than 2000 words which has not been published before. There is an entry fee of £2 per story.

A shortlist of five entries will be decided by a panel of local judges, representing the George Mackay Brown Fellowship, the Orkney Library and Archive, and Living Orkney, from which the winners will be chosen by award winning crime writer Ann Cleeves, author of the popular Shetland Quartet. There are cash prizes of £100, £50 and £25 for the top three entries and the first prize winner will have their story published in a future edition of Living Orkney magazine.

The closing date for entries is 20th September  and the winner will be announced during the Orcrime Festival. For more information on how to enter you can download the entry guidelines as a pdf.